[Edu-sig] off-topic: teachable Moore's Law moment coming

Andy Judkis ajudkis at verizon.net
Sat Feb 12 00:56:37 CET 2011

This isn't Python-related, but things have been quiet here lately and I 
figure we can spare the bandwidth. . .

I'm really excited about the upcoming Jeopardy! shows next week 
(Mon-Wed) with champion human players facing off against IBM's Watson.  
It's been a great opportunity to get students to think about what 
Moore's law means, and how computer technology is likely to affect their 
lives over the next few decades. Obviously the IBM hype machine is in 
overdrive, but I think they've earned the right.

In my class, we were just discussing how chips are not getting faster 
these days because of thermal problems, but are still getting more 
powerful in their ability to do parallel computation, and what that 
means.  IBM has a very good not-too-technical video on their site about 
how this applies to their system 

There's also an episode of PBS's Nova about Watson that aired earlier 
this week, available on-line: 

I know that my kids are always surprised and excited to see stuff that 
we do in class have some relevance in the real world, and this is the 
best alignment I've ever encountered.


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